Hornet Fire and other fires in Horry County scattering resources

Firefighters work to contain the Hornet Wildfire in Horry County.

The Hornet Fire off Highway 90 in Horry County started more than two weeks ago, but it is still giving the South Carolina Forestry Commission trouble.

Saturday, the fire flared up again by jumping over lines the commission created to stop the fire.

"The Hornet Fire is running," says Forester Mike Ney. "It's gotten over our first break, and it's trying to jump over our second one as well."

Monday morning, clouds of black smoke created by the fire rolled across Horry County.

Ney says the fire is now 95 percent contained at the time. Ten tractors, along with crews spraying water on hot spots, will be at the fire Monday to improve break lines.

Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins says we should expect to see smoke continue this week because unburned fuels inside the containment zone are now igniting. Fire managers say that "green pockets" inside the containment zone are producing heavy smoke and this week's hot, dry weather will continue to support this kind of fire behavior.

Forestry has a dozen units, including aircraft providing visual and tactical support, working to keep the fire contained.

Hawkins says unless we get eight to ten inches of rain, fire managers will have to continue to let fuels burn themselves out. He says the terrain contains a lot of fuels and organic soils that make the fire hard to put out.

No homes are threatened. The Forestry Commission asks anyone not involved in firefighting stay away from the area for safety reasons.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Horry and Marion Counties are in a state of severe drought which is making matters worse for the commission.

The agency's Pee Dee Region is being assisted by the Piedmont and Coastline Regions to help contain the Hornet fire and other fires starting to ignite and flare up again.

Ney says while the commission is trying to contain the Hornet Fire, they're also working on putting down a brush fire near the Sun Colony neighborhood in Longs off of Highways 9 and 57, another fire near the Brooksville Community that started a month and a half ago that continues to ignite off of Highways 90 and 57, and the Highway 548 fire that is still flaring up from time to time.

Over the weekend, the fire near the Brooksville Community burned an additional ten to 12 acres.

"We're working on things as fast as we can," says Ney. "But we're just a little spread out right now."